Becoming a Parent, Dating and Romance, Evergreen Content, Life Hacks, Parent of Twins, Practical Life Lessons, Two for Tuesday

Every Couple needs a Secret Language

Every couple, gay or straight, whether married or in a LTR, needs their own secret language. I’m not talking Lovey-Dovey baby talk but some simple words, phrases and even gestures that seem straightforward to circumstantial eavesdroppers, but have a clandestine meaning to you and your partner.  Think of these as your safe words for non-sexual situations.

The Couple by Ryan Lintelman

You can just feel the passion burning between these two!    (Photo Courtesy of Ryan Lintelman)

One common event every couple goes through is a situation where one of you wants to leave a scene and the other may not or may not be aware. Nightingale and I don’t have this yet because we can still use the ole “gotta go, kids are about to have a meltdown,” but I have come up with what I call the Traffic Light Protocol.

  • Green Light
  • Yellow Light
  • Red Light

Let’s say you are at a party and you are done doing the smiling and making small talk and just want to go home, but it’s not urgent. A Green Light phrase might be “honey, did we remember to take the laundry out of the washer? I don’t want mold to set in on my work clothes.”

In the Green Light phase, you’re telling your mate that they have about 20-30 minutes to make the rounds, talk to anybody they really want to speak with and then get out of there. You are going to turn into a pumpkin soon.

Now let’s imagine a different scenario. Same party but perhaps its even duller and you just are not feeling it. A Yellow Light phrase might be “honey, I’m pretty sure we didn’t take the laundry out of the washer and I don’t want mold to set in on my work clothes.”

This is a way to say okay wrap up with ever smooching and dealing you’re doing, but don’t engage anyone new and let’s get out of here in 15 minutes or less. You are turning into a pumpkin right now.

Now let’s imagine the same party but perhaps something transpires that irks you or someone is there that annoys you, or you’ve already given the Green or Yellow alert. A Red Light phrase might be “honey, our neighbor just texted that our laundry room is flooded.”

This is the 2-minute warning. You are beyond your limit and are going to turn a Rage Beast in 30 seconds or less. Wrap it up. No long good-byes.

One last thing: You must use these sparingly and judiciously. Also, you definitely should not use phrases that will blatantly insult anyone’s intelligence.

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Corporate America, Dark Matters, Dating and Romance, Life Lessons, OutSourcing Ordeals

How years of rejection in the Dating World prepared me for losing my job

So the cat can now be let out of the bag.  My company TopFive has discovered that it is an accounting firm, not an IT firm and as such, it is strongly considering moving to a Managed Services model (read: outsourcing) and my job will soon be gone.

We are of course using the current buzz word “Managed Services” but it really  means TopFive has decided to explore Outsourcing the IT department. Every week we have a pointless all-hands conference call that created more questions than they answered.  And the information they do give us, they refuse to write down in an FAQ or follow up email.  They said it was to foster a discussion but there is only one reason you don’t put something in writing.

No I'm not looking at LinkedIn, why do you ask?

No I’m not looking at LinkedIn, why do you ask?

As you can imagine moral around the office is at an all time low.  The big surprise is that everyone has noticed that I am taking the news rather well and appear to be downright optimistic.

No one has ever accused me of being optimistic.  But I have to be honest, I am handling this news much better than many of my peers.

One thing I kinda know about some of my co-workers is they didn’t really date much before they settled down.  Some actually have arranged marriages, some simply married the first person they saw naked and some even went the mail order bride route.  I on the other hand was a regular Ted Mosby only without the sidekicks.  While I was never any Casanova, I did go on my fair share of dates, had a few serious girlfriends and even a fiance before meeting my wife.

What came with all of that, besides the usual roller coaster of good times and bad times, was a lot of rejection.  There were ladies who didn’t give me a chance at all, or one date and done.  A few dates that were obviously merely me underwriting their meal plan and a few short term relationships.

If there is anything good about rejection it is that it does build a sort of mental toughness over time.  If you are lucky and can learn to accept that rejections isn’t always about you as much as it is about the other person too.  I faceplanted a lot back in my dating days.  But it wasn’t always me.  Sometimes, just sometimes it was her.

And in that same manner, the move to outsourcing and eliminating my job has nothing to do with my value.  It’s a small group of Decisionmakers at TopFive who want to increase their already insane profit margin in the short term at the expense of quality service in the long run.  And still using that same analogy, heck let’s be honest, I’m beating that analogy to death, a bad relationship needs to end sooner, not later.  Sure you might be getting wild sex, but at the expense of your car windows getting bashed.  I think not.

Stay Tuned….

This post was drafted a year or so ago, as these events were occurring.  I waited to post this because I didn’t want to risk my job hunting efforts or reveal any information about my former company.  The purpose of these posts aren’t to bash my former employer but to share my experience and hopefully educate people on the perils of Corporate America.

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Dating and Romance, Life Lessons

Dear Single People: Married People don’t have a clue either

The following was posted by a friend of a friend on her Facebook page a while back:

Question:  Ok, married FB friends…what’s your secret? I’ve been on every dating site and am also very self-aware. I’d like to think I’m a catch!!! What’s the dilly-o?

My Answer:  No f-ing clue.  There isn’t any magic or secret.  Finding someone who wants to be with and spend their life with you as much as you want to be with them is 51% luck, 49% timing and the rest is both people deciding to be with each other.

Dating is a lot harder than it should be and I honestly don’t know why.   I’ve graciously accepted the blessing of Singledom Amnesia, essentially being able to forget how rough dating and navigating being single was.  But every now and again I’ll read a CN blog which focus around the dating life and the bad memories come crashing down.

Young couple sitting on subway train (blurred motion)  Photo credit: Sarah jcb/ / CC BY-NC-ND

Young couple sitting on subway train (blurred motion) Photo credit: Sarah jcb/ / CC BY-NC-ND

Back in my Single Daze, many a night was spent with friends over brews lamenting what was wrong with me.  Being friends/connected with some of the many ladies who took a pass on me, I see some of the guys then ended up with, even short-term, and I think OMG how damaged am I if she chose that serial killer/drug dealer/pedophile over me!

But therein lies My Mistake:  buying into the perception that something was wrong with me when I was single.

The default answer to Why You Are Still Single is because you haven’t found the right person yet.  However, you are the star of the Your-Name-Here Show and only you can honestly answer if you truly haven’t found the right person, or took a pass on a good match for a stupid reason or gave the wrong person too much of your time, or some combination of the above.

In 2008 my obsession with finding my dream house began in earnest.  I had a list of criteria I wanted, nay required.  And four years later we bought a house that pretty much had everything I wanted in some shape or form.  However, my House needs have changed since then.  While our house is still suitable, it does lack a few things a family with children could use.  It also has some shortcomings that were not immediately noticeable sans children.

My point is I think many people look for the partner they want/need now instead of looking for the one they will need later in life.  Good looks, great dancer and life of the party is great now, but they don’t pay the bills (Unless you are Mikhail Baryshnikov).  Or tend to a sick child at 2 in the morning.  or clean up baby puke or change a million diapers.

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